MLD SilNylon DuoMid

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    Harlan Bruce


    Locale: DFW MetroPlex

    All I can say is Wow! Very nice construction quality; nice compromise on features and weight. A basic four-stake setup right out of the box the first time took 60 seconds. In terms of room, it is a palace as compared to my Rainbow I. And it stakes tight to the ground for pretty wind-proof setup if it is really nasty out. The doorway is usable even with the bottom buckle in place, serving to help keep weather off your gear inside. It is my first floorless shelter and this will take a little adjustment on my part. I have added the Gossamer Gear ground sheets to my kit and will most likely take both sheets with me so I can cover the entire interior. First trip with it will be Memorial Day weekend in the White Mountain Wilderness in southern New Mexico – provided that the flu doesn't get us all first. I'll report back on my experience with this thing after the trip.

    Back from my two-night trip. One complaint. SilNylon sag really impedes the headroom. It rained and the walls really come in – even with the side pullouts. The problem is really one of the pyramid shape and not really any sort of design defect at all. So I have made a set of four tensioners to go on the corners for the next trip. A little more weight, but getting up in the pre-dawn to move tent stakes is not my idea of fun. Otherwise, this thing was great – much room, packs small, easy to set up, and light.

    A follow-up after four nights out. The tarp does much better with the tensioners. I strongly suggest a set of four for anyone using the SilNylon version.

    I was subjected to a brief, strong rain and experienced mist-through. This most definitely was not simply condensation being knocked off the underside. This would have gotten uncomfortable over a longer duration. My simple fix: add a coat of rather thin silicone sealant – low odor spirits solution to the inside. This should reduce or eliminate the the mist through. This is not a complaint about MLD or the DuoMid, but is simply a fact of life with SilNylon.

    Overall, my experience of six nights out with the DuoMid leaves me very pleased. Weight, roominess, ease of setup, headroom, quality of manufacture all are great.

    Bill Poett


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    After a 24 hr gear test in our first big pre-winter storm I can't say enough about the Duo-Mid. I set up camp about 1/4 mile below Figueroa Mountain Peak the weather station reported rain and gust reaching 60 kts. I found a beautiful reasonably sheltered site, set up was quick about 8 minutes for a storm worthy pitch.


    Used Ti-goat poles highly recommended because of the ability to combine them for a 58" shelter height. Perfect size for one person in a storm, plenty of room to create multiple function spaces, area to dry gear, kitchen, store firewood.

    Favorite feature, 2/3rds of the way down the zipper are two snaps and velcro. This allows you to pull up the lower section of the flap and cook just outside the shelter with plenty of protection.

    cooking with the Tri Ti in the Rain

    19 1/8 ounce seam sealed with storm lines and stuff sack. No need for a bivy and handles wind really well. Might be a little tight for two in really bad weather but I can't think of a more comfortable and safe one person haven!

    G Foster McLachlan


    Locale: NYS

    I have used the duo throughout the late summer and fall of 09 in conditions of cold, rain, snow, & variable winds.

    The silnylon is very durable and the stitching is fantastic. You can see the workmanship is excellent as you first lay your eyes on it. YOu can see it has been well thought out.
    -I would not want to share it with another person. I bought it for myself in mind along with my yellow lab. For this purpose it is a perfect shelter. Plenty of room for myself and gear but not wasted real estate. Two people can fit, but with no room for gear I wouldn't think. Maybe at the very edge at the bottom walls if that. It would be to tight for my comfort needs-which aren't to excessive as is.
    -Offers great storm protection. whether it be winds or snow or rain. The mid panel guy out are useful. I pull two out no matter just to offer better headroom.
    -Line locs are fantastic and ease of set up and use can't be better. Use pole jack and rock often w/my trekpole. Pitches pretty tight. I am pleased.
    -As suggested, pitch low or higher from ground for air flow. Nice option w mid when its warm.
    -I have had no condensation problems. Pitch it properly in good site selection and its one less thing to worry about. Opening at top helps prevent this. And it can be closed in real snowy, windy conditons although I have yet to do so.
    -I like the options of how you can open the front. Maybe open both sides or just the one, or maybe just the one only halfway zipped up. This is a great option when you want to brew some morning tea and not suffocate yourself to death-or for those wet evenings when you prefer to eat in the dry but not ready to close up shop for the night.
    -I have some pics but none w front side zipped halfway-again a favorite for cooking in stormys.
    I plan to buy the inner net for those hot and humid nights when the bugs are biting. This is a sweet shelter and probably be my goto. Can't beat all the offerings at the weight. All season!!Opened/spaceDoors

    john griffith
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast U.S.

    I've had my duomid for about a year and have spent about 15 nights in it. There is no wasted space inside which translates into no excess weight or space inside my pack. I have the bug netting around the bottom. This is a custom option that incurs an upcharge. This allows me to raise the shelter such that the walls are about a foot off the ground and still have some protection from bugs. The way the bug netting is sewn in, it slants into the shelter from the bottom of the walls, thereby minimizing the wicking of moisture in stormy conditions. Surprisingly, all of my nights have been in GSMNP and I've had only one night of rain. Stayed dry, but had major condensation. That's no different than shelters I've had in the past. It's a very damp place.

    I'm 6'3" and one of my hiking buddies is 6'5" and we have used it together several times. For me, one of the key criteria for a walled shelter is that I can have a long sleeping bag inside without touching any walls and wicking moisture. Two long bags can fit in this shelter without touching, barely.

    I purchased mine with tensioners already on the stakeout loops and agree that they are critical. Generally upon getting to a camping spot the shelter goes up first and is staked out such that there is room on the stake out lines for tightening. Right before settling in for the night, I will go around and re-tension all lines and this takes care of it.

    suggestions for improvement:

    Door at the end of the shelter instead of on the side. As it is, if the person on the non-door side has to get up in the middle of the night they have to have the other person move out of the way in order to access the zipper and get out. If it's raining then the other person really needs to move because the doorway slopes right over the middle of the sleeping bag. There is probably a design reason why it isn't built this way already because Ron Bell has clearly thought through the execution of this shelter very thoroughly.

    Also, 6" longer and wider would be awesome. Based on the nature of fabric dimensions as they are produced it would probably mean a significant increase in labor costs because there have to be some seams added. It would still be nice for those of us that use long sleeping bags.

    A second vent at the top might also be nice.

    These nit picks aside, I love this thing. The workmanship is beyond my expectation. Having become an MYOGer I have begun to notice the construction methods more than I used to. I believe that as the materials get lighter that the construction methods become more and more critical and MLD gets that part right.

    Patricia Combee


    Locale: Northeast/Southeast your call

    This is my initial impression and I will review after I have given this shelter the field test.

    Duomid arrived within the time frame given. It was exactly as ordered. The design is well thought out. There is way enough room for one or one/two people or a dog. The sewing was excellent, all line locks and tie downs were in place, plenty of line was included along with a tube of Sylnet. there were plenty of mitten hooks inside for closelines or to attach a light or mesh. The head room is excellent. This should be a good shelter for wet weather as it is large enough to be liveable. All in all, I am very pleased with my new Duomid.

    I will add to this review after seam sealing and test driving (when the weather breaks).

    D S
    BPL Member


    Locale: Sunny SoCal

    MLD Duomid for me is the perfect shelter system. Roomy for one and adequate for two, it is storm worthy, breathes well and sets up in about two minutes flat.

    I really like the options that can be created using the 6" or 12" pole jacks as well.

    Build quality is excellent and well thought out. Found a MUCH cheaper innerliner by Stansport/ Sea to Summit/ or BCB Pyramid net (all can be had for around $25.00).

    Added to a Zpacks cuben floor, this shelter is near perfection and as versatile as anyone could ask for.



    Say Raow


    The silnylon duomid is my first ultralight shelter. I had been searching for a two person setup that I could use year round. After reading about pyramid shelters ability to shed wind and snow, along with their simplicity in setup I knew that this design is what I wanted.

    Because mosquitos and ants are a problem where I do most of my hiking (southern and eastern Manitoba), I needed the innernet (or any bug protection, but opted for the inner) for the entire spring and summer (except after first frost). That being said, this review is for the shelter and innernet together.

    I was skeptical about using this for two people because most forums posters use it strictly as a large one person shelter, with the ability to add two at a pinch. I decided to give it a try since I knew I would be able to get near full price back at the gear swap.

    We have spent about 10 nights in it so far, and will be thru-hiking the SHT with it starting this sunday.

    The duomid and innernet have far exceeded my expectations and I feel that they can be a two person shelter for people that are the right size. If the duomid is being used without the innernet I feel that it is completely adequate for two people (ultralight style) of almost any size that aren't living in it. For reference, I am 5'10" 170lbs and she is 5'4" and 120lbs.

    I took quite a few pictures of elements I thought I would have liked to have seen when considering my purchase. Along with those, some pictures that I would like to include in the review.

    *note my guylines are extremely long. This is because I havn't decided exactly what length I want to cut them at yet.*

    This is the duomid and innernet rolled up with our trekking poles attached together to make the longer poles to be used in 'inverted v' setup.

    Note how the innernet is connected to the corner stakes with bungee cord.

    We have settled on pitching the duomid pretty high off the ground.This way there is perfect ventilation. Because the bathtub floor is 4-6 inches high, there is not splashback in downpours. Though we havn't experienced horizontal rain yet.

    the 'inverted v' setup. You can see how it gives full use of the innernet. And with the adjustable poles, we're not really limited on the height of the pitch.

    The innernet is connected to the duomid by bungee cord. It can also just be attached to the pole when using the middle pole setup.

    Lots of room for two cozy people inside the innernet. This is with the bathtub floor pulled tight. It can be loosened so that the sil walls are flat adding 6 inches to each side. (those are torso sized ridgerests).

    This is how we have been pitching it during all weather.

    Lots of room for wet shoes and other things not wanted inside the innernet. Backpacks can be placed too, but they need to lean against the netting. There's this much room all around, but only accessible on the door side.

    Because of the bungee attachments to the four corners, there is a lot of give on the bathtub floor. If rolling around, or just placing something, it will flatten out and not stress the seams too much.

    Lots of room between the two. I've been thinking about attaching the innernet to the tieout with velcro or some other method so that there could be a little more headroom.

    This is how we've been attaching the poles. They are very sturdy and will not come apart no matter what we do to them.

    We'll see how it goes during our upcoming thru-hike and winter excursions, then I'll have a true feeling of how great this shelter really is. Until then I truly am impressed and happy I took the chance on it working for two.

    There are some points I want to add.
    – When pitched to the ground, or close to the ground, we have experienced condensation regardless of the weather. I think this is because the vent may not be adequate for two people. This is why we pitch 4-6 inches off the ground.

    -The duomid was really easy to seamseal. We used permatex and applied less than an ounce of silicone.

    -There are four attachments (one on each seam) inside the duomid for hanging. However there are none inside the innernet, which is something I am thinking of adding. Although I may just add a piece of spectra with a loop to the inner apex for this, which would be easier.

    -Because the innernet is floating and completely adjustable from 5 places, I think it might be possible to move it farther to the non-doorside of the duomid, giving an extra ~ 4 inches of pseudovestibule. This is something we're going to try next time we take it out.

    Bob Salcedo


    Locale: So Cal.

    I've had this tarp for about two years and have only used it about a dozen times in mostly the Eastern Sierra.

    Set up: simple and even without a fancy dohickey to use both poles in order to get more floor space, it works well and goes up quickly and can stay dry on the inside while setting up in the rain (non-torrential). Fashioned pole extenders from pvc cheap and light.

    Bugs: Mosquitoes love me but rather than getting the inner net, I chose the bug mesh around the bottom of the tent and if I set it up like I would during the rain, I can keep the flyers down to a very comfortable minimum. The crawlers sometimes get in but no big deal for me, I just make sure I don't pitch on an ant hill. I can still pitch it high for ventilation with the mesh around the bottom.

    Weather: No snow yet but it held up in a marble sized hail and thunderstorm this summer in Idaho after a quick pitch in the rain. I have yet to have it wither in wind and storms. I have experienced some wicking of water by the mesh but a little arranging of the mesh kept it outside of my sleeping area.

    The only con: The only drawback in common with all tarps; can't camp on boulders without trees. Surprised when my companions picked a site for the night on some majestic granite boulders in Yosemite… I hiked back down about 5 minutes to find some dirt in which to stake into. C'est la vie. My "cooking" is just boiling water and the few times that I did that under the front flap with my jet boil, I was cautious. I now choose not to do that unless it is truly a dire situation (personal preference).

    At about a pound with stakes and lines it is a valuable part of my shelter/sleeping system. I don't regret the money spent or the (as I see it) one limitation.

    Doug Hus
    BPL Member


    Locale: Ontario. Canada

    I've had mine for 3 years now and has not failed me. Impeccable quality and service.
    At this point and in hind sight I wish I would have gone cuben, which is a lot for me to say considering the cost. Next one then.
    The shape has been around for thousands of years and still works today.

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